This last part of my Colombian photo stories is a short flashback. In general, I was surprised how many people spoke English, especially on the Caribbean coast. I expected less people to do so, as I have experienced it that way in Ecuador, Perú and Bolivia earlier. However, it might still be quite hard to get around the country without speaking any Spanish.
I’d booked a quite expensive bed (46’000 COP/night) in Blue Almond Hostel, which basically consisted of one shared cottage in a cottage village sort of thing («cabañas»), the night before. I later heard from locals, that there are whole cottages on the island for half of what I paid, however, the cheapest ones are usually not bookable online. Most hotels/cottages on Providencia are owned and run by the same chain, which keeps prices high. Blue Almond was in the second biggest village of the island, called Aguadulce resp. Freshwater Bay in English. I had a nice little floor with a big bed for myself, it was extremely hot up there though, because the AC was below head level (but luckily above bed […]
The flight to San Andrés, operated by budget airline Viva Colombia, was quite uncomfortable, but alright, considering the price I’d paid. I wouldn’t wanna fly with them for a couple of hours though. From the very small airport, I took an expensive taxi (the airport was right next to the city and really close to the hostel) to El Viajero hostel (not that great an atmosphere, even though there was a nice rooftop bar; not all that cheap, but alright, for San Andrés is quite a bit more expensive than mainland Colombia).
I shared a colectivo from the desert to Neiva with two other travelers (11’000 COP each) and booked the 6:30 pm Bolivariano 2G Gold bus (supposed to be a premium bus with Wi-Fi, arriving in Bogotá around 10; 33’000 COP) to Bogotá. The bus never left – or even arrived. Probably because they hadn’t sold many tickets. After waiting for an hour, I had to take a crappy minivan instead, and arrived in Bogotá at 1 am.
The minibus from Salento to Armenia cost 3’800 COP, but we didn’t have to pay this time – he sort of forgot us after handing us the ticket. From Armenia to Cali, we sat in a minibus (20’000 COP) for 3-4 annoying hours (since we stopped so many times for people to get in or out). We stayed in El Viajero Hostel, which was quite a cool place to stay with a nice atmosphere and a great outside area with bar right next to the pool.
We took a direct bus (Expreso Brasilia, 86’000 COP – literally the last money in our pockets) from Tolú to Medellín. The bus ride was alright, just way too cold (as usual). In Medellín, we had troubles finding a hostel (they were all fully booked because of the Feria de las Flores) and ended up staying in a hotel for 235’000 COP (2 persons) the first night.
It’s definitely time for some new photos, it’s been (very busy) months since my last post. There we go, with the first part of this summer’s Colombia trip.
I arrived in Cartagena after a long trip via Luxembourg (train from Bern, modern & clean HI hostel, modern airport with free unlimited Wi-Fi), London Heathrow (stopover with 45mins of free Wi-Fi) and New York City (40$ AirBnB room in Jamaica, Queens). From Heathrow to JFK, I was in a huge and modern Boeing 777-300 with good food, service and entertainment system (and expensive Wi-Fi).
I've got quite some words left, but hardly any photos from these last days. So here's a short timelapse clip, followed by the end of the story. On Thursday morning we took the 9 am bus to La Paz. After an hour or something, everyone had to leave the bus and get on a boat, while the bus was being moved across a leg of the lake with another boat. After another couple hours we arrived in La Paz around 1 pm. The bus route coming from the west offers an impressive view of the whole city, spreading its buildings all across hills and valleys, as so many South American cities do. We walked to a bed & breakfast called […]
Next stop was Copacabana, Bolivia. Since the touristic bus to Copacabana was full and we hadn’t booked in advance, we had to take a colectivo from Puno to some place near the Peruvian-Bolivian border. From there we walked to Bolivia and, after getting our passports stamped, we took a bus to Copacabana that cost us like half a dollar. Copacabana is a pretty small village with but one sorta busy street, where there are some bars and many restaurants (visit La Orilla for good food). After hanging around for a night and a day, we took the boat the next morning to La Isla del Sol, which absolutely blew me away. Those beautiful landscapes and the blue water of Lake Titicaca […]
The very day of our arrival in Puno was the first day of the Fiesta de la Candelaria, which is said to stand with the carnival in Rio and the one in Oruro, Bolivia, as one of the three largest festivals in South America. This said, it’s probably the largest fest of culture, music and dancing in Perú with more than 200 dances in over 150 dance sets. The festival is in honor of the Virgen de la Candelaria, patron saint of Puno. Over 70’000 people are somehow involved in the festive activities (the city has a population of about 100’000). Most of the participating dancers were dressed in very colorful costumes, dancing through Puno. The evening are all about drinking and […]